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Longkuan Jiuduan: I Like Tricky Music

Featuring the compositions and vocals of Long Kuan, alongside the guitar playing and production of Jiu Duan, the electronica album I Like Tricky Music was released in 2004. This musical duo goes by the band name Long Kuan Jiu Duan, which is simply an amalgamation of their two nicknames. 

Broadly speaking, they're an electronica band, but they've incorporated a number of commercial elements into their music, making them one of the surprise successes of 2004. The song "Nobody's Like Me", is one of their most mainstream and popular compositions on this new, debut album of theirs.

The singer and composer Long Kuan is a Beijing-based female singer with some fairly unique experiences. At the age of 18, she went to London in order to follow her boyfriend at that time. Unfortunately their relationship did not work out, but she did find some consolation in the various musical connections that she has formed during that period. Initially adopting a punk persona, she formed her own band in London, and later put on performances across the whole of Europe. Therefore, this current album of hers is not the product of an immature debutant, but someone who has been out on the road for many years, experiencing life and making music.

The title track of Long Kuan Jiu Duan's album, "I Like Tricky Music", is a song which well demonstrates Long Kuan's lively and witty vocal style, as well as her devotion to music. This devotion is in no doubt, as during her live in London, she persisted with her music, despite homesickness and a lack of money, with the latter forcing her to take on several jobs, night or day, in order to survive. Therefore, perhaps the most surprising thing about Long Kuan is how naive her lyrics have remained, although cynical critics might attribute this apparent state of endless childhood to populist motives.

Although the outgoing Long Kuan is the undisputed star of the band, the more introverted Jiu Duan is a vital musical partner. His real name is Tian Peng, and he even has a third name, Yu San, which he uses for his main musical project, the electronic band Supermarket. He has also produced a number of albums for various Chinese musicians, especially hip hop of late. Whereas Long Kuan thrives in the spotlight, press conferences and publicity appear to be a personal nightmare for Jiu Duan.

(CRI January 14, 2005)

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